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Copenhagen here we come!

The Little Mermaid, Tivoli Gardens, Probably The Worst Beer In The World: these may be some of the tourist attractions, but what will draw people to Copenhagen this December is the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP15. Sponsored by, among others, BMW, DHL and SAS (Scandinavian Airlines), and revealing no discernible sense of either shame or irony because of that, COP15 runs from 7-18 December.

Sometimes referred to as Kyoto 2, COP15 is supposed to conclude a negotiating process whereby “all the countries of the world” agree to reductions in their emissions of greenhouse gases from 2012. It seems most likely, however, that either countries will fail to agree or what they agree to will be wholly insufficient to the task of mitigating climate change. For many NGOs, citizens and activists, COP15 represents a crucial chance to make their voices heard, if not have their views heeded.

Climate Justice Action
Climate Justice Action, the principal environmental activist network organising internationally for COP15, are trying to arrange accommodation and transport for the thousands of concerned and committed citizens due to converge on Copenhagen. The aims of CJA include exposing “the roles of false and market-based climate solutions as well as corporate domination of climate negotiations in worsening the climate crisis” and working towards “a total systemic transformation of our society”.

Academic blockade
Inspired by the academic conference blockades of Faslane 365, one group I am involved with is an international gathering of scholars and students who plan a seminar blockade to disrupt carbon-emitting business as usual. The seminar blockade will feature presentations, papers, questions and debate, but will take place in visible, public space in the centre of Copenhagen, culminating in a human blockade.

the events
We academics are also planning a workshop as part of KlimaForum09, the people’s forum, the civil society antidote to COP15, creating the space for global citizens to pursue their own vision of a sustainable and just future.

A summit like COP15 is known in Danish as a topmøde, a “top meeting”. The irrepressible “Freetown” of Christiania has an alternative to COP15, a “Climate Bottom Meeting” (5-20 December), focusing on community and practical examples of sustainable cities and eco-villages from around the world.

The “Westside Hood” network of environmental activists from Wales, the West Country and the West Midlands will be participating in the Business Day of action on 11 December and various other actions culminating in the mass action on 16 December, when we will all push for climate justice and reclaim power, taking over COP15 and transforming it into a people’s summit for climate justice. This is history in the making. You have to be there with us. It could be wonderful!

Climate Justice Action www.climate-justice-action.org/
Klimaforum09 www.klimaforum09.org/
Climate Bottom Meeting www.climateroots.org/dru/
For Academic seminar blockade and Westside Hood email: kelvin.mason@cat.org.uk
To sponsor unfettered climate change COP15 www.en.cop15.dk/

Topics: Climate Change